The Australian share market has snapped a 12-session losing streak in its biggest one-day again since last August to recover some of the ground lost in yesterday's bloodbath after the US Federal Reserve made an emergency cut to interest rates to calm jittery global markets.
At the 1615 AEDT close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had risen 225.5 points, or 4.35 per cent, to 5412.3, and the broader All Ordinaries had jumped 223.6 points, or 4.28 per cent, to 5445.6.
On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the March share price index futures contract was up 155 points to 5,411 on a volume of 54,181 contracts, according to preliminary calculations.
ABN Amro Morgans private client adviser Trent Muller said gains of more than six per cent in early trading today were tempered by weaker US futures.
"It does appear that US futures are looking a bit weaker tonight. The Dow Jones futures are pointing down a 100 (points), so that would probably be the main influencing factor behind our weakness," he said.
Mr Muller said Apple Inc had reported earnings after the close of markets in the US overnight that had not been favourably received.
He said data out today showing a sharp 0.9 per cent rise in headline inflation in Australia in the December quarter, which fuelled expectations of an interest rate rise next month, also may have affected sentiment.
Mr Muller said investors remained cautious but may become less anxious when the Australian profit-reporting season kicks into gear next month.
In the resources sector, major miners rebounded after being oversold yesterday.
BHP Billiton jumped A$2.89, or 9.32 per cent, to A$34.89 as it reported record production for its key commodities in the first half of fiscal 2008.
Takeover target Rio Tinto lifted A$5.01 to A$106.01.
Oxiana was up 32 cents at A$2.90 after it achieved record copper production at its Sepon gold and copper mine in Laos for the December quarter and 2007 calendar year.
Zinifex ascended 54 cents to A$8.94 as it changed the structure of its hostile takeover bid for Allegiance Mining to a flat A$1.00 a share.
Nexus Energy strengthened nine cents to A$1.41 as it offered to buy Anzon Australia for around A$648.5 million. Anzon was up 18.5 cents at A$1.54.
Kagara reversed 20 cents to A$3.62 after reporting a 12 per cent fall in pre-tax first half profit as its zinc and lead production volumes fell in the December quarter.
Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum was A$3.13 richer at A$44.10, and Santos improved 33 cents to A$12.08.
On Wall Street overnight but steeper losses early in the session were recovered by a surprise 75 basis point interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 128.11 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 11,997.19.
In the banking sector, National Australia Bank sagged 49 cents to A$32.41. Westpac gained 72 cents to A$25.22, the Commonwealth Bank put on A$1.02 to A$49.87, and ANZ was 87 cents heavier at A$25.22.
Elsewhere in the financial services sector, Allco Finance Group plunged 78 cents, or 26.09 per cent, to A$2.21.
Troubled property funds manager MFS was suspended from quotation as it said was in detailed discussions with a preferred party interested in acquiring a substantial interest in its Stella travel services business. MFS last traded at 99 cents.
Gold stocks were strong as investors sought safe havens. Lihir jumped 54 cents, or 18 per cent, to A$3.54, Newmont found 34 cents to A$5.95, and Newcrest added A$3.16 to A$34.90.
The price of gold in Sydney at 1632 AEDT was US$886.75 per fine ounce, up US$27.25 on yesterday's close of US$859.50.
In the media sector Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer's privatisation play, Consolidated Media Holdings, firmed six cents to $4.29, and Fairfax eased six cents to $3.90.
News Corp stepped forward 80 cents to $21.40 while its non-voting scrip added 73 cents to $20.86.
Among the telcos, Telstra rose 27 cents to $4.31, and Telstra instalment receipts jumped 28 cents to $2.76. Telstra instalment receipts were also the top traded stock by volume, with 67.41 million shares worth $179.23 million changing hands.
Optus owner Singapore Telecommunications was 10 cents better off at $2.87.
In the retail sector, Woolworths was up 97 cents at $30.10 and Wesfarmers gained $2.60 at $35.10.
Preliminary national turnover was 2.42 billion shares worth $9.43 billion, with 1,070 stocks up, 367 down and 248 unchanged.